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Full text of "FM 11-150 Photomail Operation, 1945"

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F M 11- 





United States Government Printing Office 
Washington: 1945 

Washington 25, D. C, 20 April 1945 

FM 11-150, Photomail Operation, is published for the informa- 
tion and guidance of all concerned. 

[AG 300.7 (15 Sep 44)] 

By order of the Secretary of War : 

Official : 


Major General 
The Adjutant General 

Distribution : 

AAF (5) ; AGF (5) ; ASF (2) ; T of Opns (5) ; Base Comd 
(5) ; Island Comd (5) ; Gulf Comd (5) ; Dept (5) ; Arm & 
Sv Bd (2) ; Def Comd (2) ; Tech Sv (2) ; SvC (5) ; PC&S 
(1) ; PE (5) ; Gen & Sp Sv Sch (10) ; USMA (50) ; A (5) ; 

. CHQ (5) ; D (2) . T/0 & E : 11-597 (3) ; 12-601, Base Post 
Off (DA-FA) (3). 

Refer to FM 21-6 for explanation of distribution formula. 


Chief of Staff 


Paragraph Page 



Section I. Photomail organization 12-14 4 

//. Photomail technical operation 15-22 7 


Section I. General 23-26 10 

II. Specialist training 27-45 11 

III. Team training 46-70 26 


Section I. Army postal section 71-82 36 

//. Official photomail 83-85 ■ 41 

///. Signal Corps V-mail laboratories 86-92 44 

IV. Message center procedure .* 93-97 51 

'v. Sending department 98-101 63 

VI. Receiving department 102-114 66 




1 . Purpose and Scope 

The purpose of this manual is to prescribe routine methods for 
signal photomail service, to serve as a guide for training person- 
nel charged with signal photomail duties, to furnish commanders 
and their staffs with information concerning the functions and 
capabilities of signal photomail, and to standardize the operation 
of photomail teams. 

2. Definitions 

a. Photomail. Photomail is the process of microphotograph- 
ing official documents or personal messages on rolls of 16- or 35- 
mm film, and forwarding the rolls after development to a receiv- 
ing station in the approximate area to which the photographed 
official documents and personal messages are addressed. Individ- 
ual facsimiles, or prints of legible size, are made from the min- 
iature negatives and. are delivered to the addressees. 

h. V-Mail. V-mail is photomail applied to personal corre- 
spondence. The term V-mail is an abbreviation of victory mail. 

c. Official Photomail. Official photomail is photomail ap- 
plied to official communications and documents of the War De- 
partment and of those agencies, the transmission of whose photo- 
mail is approved by the War Department. 

3. Connparative Weight and Size of Photomail 

a. Comparative Weight. The use of photomail reduces the 
bulk and weight of mail handled by approximately 98 percent. 

b. Size op Facsimiles. The V-mail facsimile is approximately 
one fourth the size of the original special letter sheet form. The 
official photomail facsimile is approximately the same size as the 
original document. 

4. Use of V-Mail 

a. Official Attitude. The use of V-mail rather than regular 
mail between foreign theaters and the continental United States 
should be encouraged. Commanding officers should inform person- 



nel under their command of the advantages of V-mail for personal 

h. Delivery Assurance. Delivery of V-mail letters is expe- 
dited and assured. The original letter is not destroyed until the 
facsimile has been satisfactorily reproduced by the receiving 
V-mail laboratory. If a regular letter is unavoidably destroyed en 
route, a permanent loss is suffered. A V-mail letter, however, can 
be reproduced again and forwarded. 

5. V-Mail Priority 

Every effort is made to transport V-mail by air. In certain in- 
stances, however, letters written on V-mail forms cannot be micro- 
filmed because of the absence of V-mail facilities. In instances 
where V-mail facilities are not available, letters written on V-mail 
forms are given preference in handling and are forwarded by air 
whenever possible in their original form. Letter mail for destina- 
tions outside the continental United States is transported by air 
in the following order of precedence: (1) Official air mail. (2) 
V-mail. (3) Regular air mail.. (4) All other mail weighing not in 
excess of 2 ounces. 

6. V-Mail Forms 

Personal messages of military personnel require the use of a spe- 
cial letter sheet form measuring 8V2" x 11" which is available, 
free, to the armed forces. Commanding officers outside the con- 
tinental United States should make certain that adequate quanti- 
ties of V-mail forms are available throughout their commands. 
Individuals who are not in the armed forces can obtain V-mail 
forms without charge from any United States post office or by 
purchase from a commercial printer. 

7. Operational Responsibility 

The over-all operation of the photoriiail service is the responsibil- 
ity of the Army Postal Service of The Adjutant General's Office. 
The operation of an oversea photomail service is the responsibility 
of theater or base commanders. 

8. Technical Responsibility 

The Chief Signal Officer of the United States Army is responsible 
for the design, development, specification, compilation, mainte- 
nance, storage and issue, technical supervision and operation of 
the necessary photographic equipment, training of personnel for 
the operation of such equipment, and the procurement of necessary 
commercial facilities, including the administration of contracts for 
such facilities for the photomail service. 


9. Censorship 

V-mail sent from members of armed forces at oversea points will 
be censored by their respective company officers or other desig- 
nated officers before sealing. The letter should be indorsed to 
show censorship on both inside and outside of the V-mail sheet 
form. V-mail originating in the United States is handled by the 
local post office in the routine manner and forwarded to the proper 
V-mail station. The letter is submitted for censorship at the V-mail 
station, prior to microfilming. 

10. Assignment 

V-mail stations are initiated and maintained whenever an oversea 
area receives a volume of mail requiring such an installation and 
when trained personnel and equipment are available. 

1 1 . References 

AR 380-5, Safeguarding Military Information. 

AR 850-65, Miscellaneous, Storage and Handling of Nitrocellu- 
, lose Film in United States Army Establishments. 

FM 12-105, The Army Postal Service. 

TM 1-219, Basic Photography. 

TM 11-2300, Enlarger PH-542/UF (V-mail). 

TM 11-2301, Densitometer PH-826. 

TM 11-2302, Paper Cutter PH-513/GF (V-mail). 

TM 11-2304, Projector PH-543/UF (V-mail). 

TM 11-2305, Developing Machine PH-512/GF (V-mail). 

TM 11-2313, Light Meter (V-mail). 

TM 11-2309, Reader PH-284 (V-mail). 

TM 11-2395, Electronic Timer (Photrix Modell528). 



12. General 

Installations for handling the processing of photomail are organ- 
ized differently for the continental United States and oversea in- 
stallations. These differences are as follows : 

a. Continental United States. In the continental United 
States, the photographic processing of V-mail is normally handled 

'by commercial concerns. This is accomplished by contract with the 
Federal government. The War and Navy Departments have entered 
into an agreement for maintaining accounting records and paying" 
for services rendered in processing V-mail. 

b. Oversea Installations. In oversea installations, the proc- 
essing of photomail for the War Department will be accomplished 
by a combination of Army Postal Service and Signal Corps per- 
sonnel. Processing of photomail for the Navy Department will be 
accomplished by Navy Postal Service. V-mail for Army personnel 
will be handled by the Navy controlled V-mail service in the ab- 
sence of Army V-mail installations and vice versa. To facilitate 
delivery, Navy V-mail is normally separated from Army V-mail. 

13. Army Coordinating Agencies 

The Army Postal Service and the Signal Corps are active partici- 
pants in handling photomail. Both are responsible for performing 
sending and receiving operations. (See iig. 1.) V-mail laboratories 
which perform photographic processing of photomail are under 
the direction of the Signal Corps and cooperate closely with the 
associated Army post office section. The combined V-mail labora- 
tory and Army postal section is known as a V-mail station and is 
a detachment of a base post office installation. 

14. V-Mail Detachments 

The organization of a V-mail detachment at a base post office will 
be determined by the volume of photomail to be handled and the 
amount of personnel involved. The V-mail detachment will be com- 
prised of teams prescribed by section II of T/0 & E 12-601, Base 



< -J 

Post Office. Assignments of detachments will be only to base post 
offices preparing photomail for processing and dispatch. The or- 
ganization of a type detachment is shown in figure 2. The basis of 
assignment for the various teams is given in the remarks column 
of part II, section I, T/0 & E 12-601. 

a. Detachment Headquarters. A detachment headquarters 
will be authorized on the basis of total personnel in the detach- 
ment. Detachments with personnel numbering less than 40 will 
secure administration from the base post office. The personnel of 
a detachment headquarters may be combined with the headquar- 


V-mail Detachment 
(Part II, T/0 & E 
12-601, Base Post 



Mess team 


Postal team 


Figure 2. Type V-^nail detachment. 

■Note. A detachment headquarters or mess team will not be included in a 
detachment when total personnel in a detachnftint is less than 40. 

ters section of the base post office to which attached. The types 
authorized assist in the preparation of V-mail records and perform 

b. Mess Teams. Detachments with personnel numbering less 
than 50 will secure mess from the base post office. Mess teams of 
type authorized may be combined with the mess of the base post 

c. Postal Teams^ The postal teams will be authorized in ac- 
cordance with the volume of mail to be handled. 

d. Photographic (Signal) Teams. These are photomail 
teams in T/0 & E 12-601, and are authorized in accordance with 
the volume of mail to be handled. 

e. Augmentation Teams. Augmentation teams may be used 
to augment the postal and photographic teams of section II, T/0 
& E 12-601. 

■ /. Official Photomail Section. The type FA official photo- 
mail section is complete within itself and provides facilities for 
handling of official photomail by photographic means. Official 

photomail will be processed separately from V-mail. When volume 
requires, basic team combinations of postal and Signal Corps 
teams may be utilized to process official photomail in place of team 
type FA. 


15. Photomail Installations 

A photomail installation should be established in the most suitable 
position for sending and receiving operations. The installation 
should be designed to secure the maximum output of photomail 
with the least amount of delay and waste, and at the same time 
provide a means for a steady flow of work. The fundamental re- 
quirements for establishing photomail installations are discussed 
in paragraphs 16 to 22', inclusive. 

16. Location Requirennents 

The proper location of a photomail laboratory is vital to the effi- 
cient operation of the photomail service. Transportation- facilities 
and an adequate source of water and power are among the primary 
requirements governing the location of a photomail laboratory. 

17. Transportation 

The V-mail laboratory should be located adjacent to or near the 
air transport facilities normally handling air mail for the base 
post office concerned. 

18. Water 

The laboratory requires an adequate source of water under pres- 
sure. Any water satisfactory for human consumption may be pre- 
sumed to be satisfactory for photographic purposes, although 
additional and frequent filtering may be necessary. It is preferable 
to maintain V-mail laboratories only when adequate water is 
available rather than to undertake the correction of a deficiency. 
Laboratories can operate successfully on most clear water. Oily 
water is relatively satisfactory after filtering. Water with suffi- 
cient chemical taint to prevent ready use should be avoided. Cer- 
tain types of contamination may not affect the quality of photo- 
graphic solutions, but will decrease their life. 

19. Electricity 

Whenever possible, V-mail laboratories should be located adjacent 
to an adequate power source. Any appreciable voltage fluctuation 
will cause faulty recording of photomail. Foresight must be exer- 


cised in estimating power requirements. When independent power 
equipment is employed, sufficient surplus capacity must be made 
available and the equipment operated at the exact cycles for which 
it is designed if voltage fluctuation is to be minimized. 

20. Laboratory Buildings 

Efficient operation is dependent upon laboratory buildings which 
furnish ample room for photomail equipment and operating per- 
sonnel. Types of electric circuits and fixtures used in laboratory 
buildings in connection with film processing are described in AR 

a. Darkrooms. Darkrooms may be improvised or constructed 
in any type of building or cellar whose floor or foundation will 
sustain the processing equipment, and which is capable of being 
made lightproof. Whatever the photomail accommodations, every 
effort should be made to create a housed, weather-protected instal- 
lation because wind, dirt, and dust impede photographic process- 
ing. It may be necessary to set up prefabricated buildings when 
other suitable accommodations are not available in the vicinity of 
operations. If prefabricated buildings are used, a floor plan of 
equipment should be designed for the most efficient arrangement 
of equipment and processing rooms in the space available. All 
darkrooms are best located in a single block, the center of which 
is occupied by the finishing section. Darkrooms should be designed 
so that material in process may be passed through light trap 
openings rather than carried through passageways equipped with 
curtains which delay or hamper the ready passage of work. 

b. Ventilation. Adequate ventilation of processing rooms in 
photomail laboratories is necessary for the maintenance of photo- 
graphic quality. It is also vital to the health of the darkroom op- 
erators. When it is necessary to use poorly ventilated space, per- 
sonnel should be provided with reliefs and observe a schedule 
which permits rest periods and access to fresh air. Care must be 
taken in building light traps to provide a sufficient free passage of 
fresh air. 

c. Chemical Mixing. Chemical solutions should be prepared 
in a well-ventilated room unrelated to the storage or processing of 
sensitized materials. A weighing table equipped with an adequate 
scale should adjoin a sink with generous dimensions. The mixing 
tanks should adjoin the sink opposite to the weighing table and 
be in the most 'advantageous position for transfer of solutions to 
the replenishing tanks. A series of formula cards should be main- 
tained in card index form, and the formulas (while conforming 
to the proportions furnished) should be computed in the largest 
amount of solution consistent with the needs of the laboratory in 
order to minimize human error in weighing. The use of special 


or nonstandard solutions creates confusion and lack of confidence 
and responsibility in the laboratory and does not contribute to 
quality work. The feasibility of the use of standard formulas in 
varying strengths for all standard processing of sensitized mate- 
rials has been well established. 

d. Message Center. The message center should be well lighted 
and centrally located within the photomail laboratory. 

2J.. Laboratory Signs and Waste 

a. Laboratory Signs. AR 850-65 covers the marking of exits 
and exit sign specification. 

b. Waste. Film discards and scraps constitute a fire hazard as 
determined by AR 850-65. Strict adherence to smoking regula- 
tions and the designation of closed waste receptacles for film dis- 
cards will reduce fire hazards. All photomail film and paper disr 
cards must be handled in accordance with AR 380-5. 

22. Allocation of Personnel 

Personnel assignments should result in proper distribution of the 
functions of the sections among the personnel, both with regard 
to individual special qualifications and relative numerical require- 
ments, based on the number of personnel assigned or available 
to the photomail laboratory. Maximum teamwork can be obtained 
only when each subdivision has assigned to it men with special 
aptitudes to handle the amount of work required of that section, 
and when that section is provided with an even flow of work in- 
volving all the phases of photography for which it is designed 
and equipped. 


Section I. GENERAL 

23. In+roduction 

The following training material is written for information and 
guidance in training pbotomail personnel. This manual presents 
general training information but does not affect established train- 
ing policies or procedures. 

24. Objective 

The training objective of signal photomail teams is to produce an 
organized, integrated, technical unit capable of performing its 
primary mission in extended field operations. A course of instruc- 
tion on a particular type of equipment described in an appropriate 
technical manual should result in proficiency in the operation and 
maintenance of the equipment. 

25. Training References and Guides 

To obtain the latest training references and guides, it is necessary 
to consult recent editions of FM 21-6, List of Publications for 
Training; FM 21-7, List of War Department. Films, Film Strips, 
and Recognition Film Slides; and FM 21-8, Military Training 
Aids. Instructional material will normally be taken from War 
Department manuals as modified by other War Department publi- 
cations and local instructions. Training will be' conducted in ac- 
cordance with FM 21-5, Military Training; TM 21-250, Army 
Instruction; TF 7-295, Military Training; and TM 11-450, Train- 
ing of Signal Communication Personnel, and the series of photo- 
mail technical manuals listed in paragraph 11. 

26. Training Aids and Facilities 

a. Training schedules and lesson plans should be adaptable to 
the scope of training prescribed. Appropriate training schedules 
will be posted where they may be observed by all trainees con- 
cerned. Details as to training aids, facilities, and equipment will 
be included so far as it is necessary to conduct efficient training 
without loss of time. 


1 1 

b. Every effort will be made to procure adequate training aids, 
equipment, and facilities necessary to carry out the prescribed 
program. When training aids and facilities are inadequate, sched- 
ules will provide for rotation of personnel. 


27. General 

Trainees with previous photographic experience are normally 
chosen for training in photomail operation. Those who are chosen 
pursue a course in the basic fundamentals of photomail operation. 
These fundamentals familiarize each photomail trainee with the 
operation performed by each type of equipment in accomplishing 
the photomail mission. However, when trainees having previous 
photographic experience are not available, adequate training 
should be given in the fundamentals of photography prior to the 
specialist training period. This basic training is outlined in para- 
graph 34. 

28. Individual Technical Training 

Specialist training in the individual technical training period 
should be performed so that trainees will obtain individual ex- 
perience which will prove valuable during actual operations. Indi- 
vidual technical efficiency should be developed to a high degree. 
The training of the individual must be balanced and .emphasis 
must be placed on a few related types of operations which the 
trainee may be expected to perform. Instructors should endeavor 
to develop individual proficiency and technique, and encourage 
practice which improves photographic quality. 

29. Standard Methods 

Laboratory processes and methods should be standardized during 
specialist training to economize on time and material, aid in main- 
taining and improving quality of workmanship, and prevent con- 
fusion. Laboratory rules and regulations should be posted concern- 
ing cleanliness," orderliness, section or room arrangement, use of 
water and lights, breakage and replacement, labeling of sensitized 
material, handling of chemical solutions and partly used rolls of 
microfilm and paper, and general care of equipment. 

30. Care of Equipment 

Care of photographic equipment should be stressed throughout 
training. The production of satisfactory work by a photomail unit 
is dependent to a large extent on the working conditions of equip- 
ment. Frequent tests and inGpections are made of equipment by the 


unit commander during training phases. Definite inspection pe- 
riods should be set up for the purpose of maintaining operating 
efficiency and particularly to ascertain whether instructions issued 
regarding operation of equipment are being observed by the train- 
ees. Prompt and appropriate disciplinary action should be taken 
in case of neglect or abuse of equipment or disregard of orders or 
instructions concerning it. 

31. Conservation of Photographic Material 

Conservation of film and other photographic material should be 
emphasized at all times during training to prevent rapid exhaus- 
tion of photomail material in the theater of operations. 

32. Project Work Forms 

Project work forms should be introduced in the specialist train- 
ing phase. These forms greatly facilitate the handling and process- 
ing of microfilm and paper. Proper accomplishment will increase 
production and work efficiency, and will aid in a proper and 
methodical arrangement for the accommodation of rolls of letters, 
bundles of facsimiles, and microfilm from the time of arrival to 
final disposition. These forms are discussed in section III, chapter 

33. Photomail Technicians 

The specialist training program will serve to develop the following 
types of technicians in the signal photomail unit. 

CL. Laboratory Technician, V-MAIL OR Microfilm (SSN:016). 
This type of technician will be required to operate microfilm equip- 
ment or supervise the work of a V-mail or microfilm processing 
laboratory in which negatives are developed and paper prints are 
made by continuous or still projection. 

b. Microfilm Equipment Repairman (SSN:158). This type 
of specialist will be required to repair, rebuild, adjust, and main- 
tain in service the mechanical and electrical parts of microfilm 
photographic equipment and accessories. 

34. Basic Technical Training 

Basic technical training for specialists discussed in the preceding 
paragraph should be conducted in accordance with paragraph 18i, 
MTP 11-1, Mobilization Training Program for Signal Corps En- 
listed Personnel of the Army Service Forces, 1 Jun 44. TM 1-219, 
Basic Photography, supplemented by technical manuals related to 
the equipment, will comprise the greater part of text material. 
The course as outlined in the MTP will include technical training 
in all types of photomail equipment and procedures. Proficiency 
charts as recommended by training publications will be main- 


tained by instructors. During the first 4 weeks of basic technical 
instruction, training is centered on the practical use of various 
cameras, processing equipment, and technique. Critiques will be 
held on photographic quality. Subjects to be taught in basic tech- 
nical training &re discussed in paragraphs 35 through 45 which 

35. Basic Photography 

The operations involved in photomail consist in a large part of 
processing photographic material and handling chemical solutions. 
The securing of maximum quality in photomail work requires that 
the trainee have a thorough understanding of film emulsion speed, 
contrast, latitude of film, and other fundamentals of photography. 
These fundamentals must apply as much as possible to photomail 
laboratory procedure, that is, film and paper processing. Discus- 
sion, demonstration, andjpractical exercises in the following 
points should be emphasized : 

a. Principles of the camera, lens apertures, light tight boxes, 
and film holders. 

b. Negatives, prints, development, washing, drying, and dif- 
ferences in developers. 

c. Use of washing and drying devices. 

d. Common troubles, causes, and rerhedies of overexposure, 
underexposure, reticulation, improper temperature of developer, 
and overdevelopment, and underdevelopment. 

e. Need for formulas for tropical developers and hardeners. 
/. Practical exercises in enlarging, developing, short stop, fix- 
ing, washing and drying. 

g. Necessity for cleanliness and washing equipment free from 
harmful chemicals. 

36. Continuous Film Processing 

a. General. Large quantities of microfilm are handled in the 
photomail laboratory. To facilitate processing, a continuous film 
processing machine is used. (See fig. 3.) The object of instruction 
in training should be the care and operation of equipment. Ex- 
treme care should be exercised at all times when operating con- 
tinuous processing equipment. A break in any part of the unit will 
cause avoidable delay and unnecessary spoilage,of film. 

b. Practical Exercises. Practical exercises should be per- 
formed as follows : 

(1) Film splicing. Each trainee should be equipped with a 
hand splicer and several feet of old film. Allow each trainee to 
practice making splices in both the light and the dark. The in- 
structor should check the splice and stress the importance of good 


Figure 3. Continuous processing machine in operation. 

(2) Film loading. Each trainee will practice loading a supply 
reel and splicing a new supply of film to the unit. Old film will be 
used for this purpose. 

(3) Operation. Trainees will operate the unit in white light 
using leader in place of film. Each trainee will load a film supply 
reel, splice the supply reel of film and watch the unit while it is 
running. Processed film will be removed from the take-off. The 
instructor will make certain that each trainee is able to perform 
every operation correctly to insure successful operation of the 
machine. The trainees should be rotated to insure proper training. 
The instructor may permit the student to operate the machine 


without assistance when he feels that the student is proficient. 

37. Model C-l Recorder Operation 

a. General. The Model C-l recorder is used to facilitate rapid 
photographic copying of correspondence on microfilm. (See fig. 
4.) Discussion, demonstration, and practical exercises should be 
performed in training. 

Figure i. Continuous recorder operation. 


Figure 5. Overlapping portion of a veeder count target. 

b. Practical Exercise. Each trainee should prepare the re- 
corder for operation and will record 100 documents using a start 
target, work target, end target, and a veeder count target (fig. 5) 
every 20 documents. All necessary data will be entered on work 


sheets and the shipping carton labeled accordingly. Mistakes in 
operation will be corrected immediately. 

38. Film and Paper Inspection 

Every photomail print represents an important message to an 
addressee. Care must be exercised to prevent sending defective 
microfilm or paper prints to addressees. The object of the micro- 
film and paper inspection course is to teach the trainee how to 
perform inspections, find defective microfilm (fig. 6) and prints, 
identify them, and take necessary steps to have prints reprocessed. 
Every effort is made to enable the trainee to "acquire a skill in this 
field as quickly as possible. Emphasis is placed on discussion, dem- 
onstration, or practical exercises. (See TM 11-2301, 11-2302, and 

Figure 6. Film inspection. 


During the course the following points are emphasized : 

a. Importance of all types of inspections. 

b. Contrasting receiving and sending operations find showing 
how receiving inspections are included in charting. 

c. Inspections of faulty rolls and group performance of in- 
specting faulty rolls. 

d. Threading a reader and splicing. 

e. Negative faults (fig. 7) and illustration of negative faults 
on film. 

Figure 7. Locating negative faults on an inspection projector. 

f. Entries made on the retake form and the sending work 

g. Need for density tolerances. 


h. Densitometer as a measuring device of negative blackness, 
and reading the densitometer. ) 

i. Sending inspection, densitometer reading, and accuracy of 
sending work sheets and retake forms. 

y. Eeceiving charting procedure and inspection of the first 

k. Foot candle readings and varying of printing time for dif- 
ferent negative densities. 

I. Rough first inspections and faults, 
m. Winding film correctly on the reel. 

n. Finding low average meter reading and recording on the 
work sheet. 

0. Systems for recording different readings along the entire 

p. Legibility as a primary consideration and marking black 
and white prints not within tolerances. 

q. Originating retake requests in the reprint department. 

r. Paper winding, inspecting (fig. 8), and making entries on 
the receiving work sheet and the reprint form. 

Figure 8. Ins^^ecting paper. 

s. Choppers work entry sheet, duties of a chopper, and chop- 
ping technique. (See fig. 9.) 


Figure .9. Choppinf/ paper. 

t. Discarding or reducing prints according to the inspector's 

39. Microfile Operation 

a. Official military maps, charts, and blueprints are often re- 
ceived in an official photomail laboratory. These and other mate- 
rial cannot be photographed on a recorder. The object of micro- 
file instruction is 'to teach the trainee how to operate and main- 
tain the microfile camera. Emphasis is placed on mechanical per- 
formance rather than on photographic theory. Actual practice in 
the use of the equipment by the trainee is required. 

b. Practical Exercise. In practical exercises, organize train- 
ees in small teams and photograph copy for speed. 

40. Enlarging 

The object of the photomail enlarging specialist course is to teach 
trainees the use of the model A and model 10 enlargers in making 
official photomail prints. (See fig. 11.) Discussion, demonstration, 
and practical exercises are performed with emphasis placed on 
cooperation. (See TM 11-2300.) 


Figure 10. Recording a map on the microfile camera. 

41. Paper Processing 

a. General. The continuous paper processing machine is used 
in the automatic processing of large quantities of photomail prints. 
(See fig. 12.) Constant supervision must be exercised over the op- 
erating machine to prevent unnecessary stoppage or break-downs. 
Demonstrations, discussion, or practical operation of the equip- 
ment should be performed. 

b. Pbactical Exercise. Practical exercise should be performed 
in the following sequence : 

(1) Thread and strip the machine. 

(2) Make various splices. 

(3) Make spHces with the machine running. 

(4) Adjust wash temperature, demonstrate starting proce- 


Figure 11. Printing official photomail correspondence. 

dure, adjust drying drum temperature, and practice using safe- 

(5) Practice the routine of shutting down the machine, turn- 
ing off replenisher flow, and procedure of removing and cleaning 
racks, cleaning of the machine, and cleaning drying drum. 

(6) Practice the procedure for handling breaks and slack in 
the machine. 

42. Reel and Tank Film Processing 

Film processing is one of the most important steps of photomail 
procedure. Without good negatives, clear reproductions are diffi- 
cult to obtain. The object of film processing instruction is to teach 
the trainee the proper operation of developing equipment and 
processing procedure which includes preparation of chemicals, 
reel loading procedure (fig. 13), and the development of film and 
cleaning of equipment. Discussion, demonstration, and practical 
exercises should be performed. (See TM 11-2305.) 

43. Continuous Enlarger 

a. General. The continuous enlarger is used to print large 
quantities of photomail facsimiles. The object of training is to 
instruct the trainee in the operation of the~ continuous enlarger 


Figure 12. Threading a continuous paper processor. 

with emphasis placed on exposure control. Demonstration, dis- 
cussion, and practical operation should be performed. 

b. Practical Exercise. (1) Each trainee will thread the en- 
larger with film and paper, adjust the F value, and set the voltage 

(2) The instructor will explain causes of slippage, improper 
masking, fog, incorrect film winding, paper upside down, and im- 
proper identification of rolls of exposed paper. 

(3) Under supervision of the instructor each trainee will ex- 
pose 36 feet of paper and will practice wedging and masking. 

44. Model N Enlarger 

a. General. This machine is used as a hand operated machine 
for making V-mail reprints. These reprints result from the rejec- 
tion of V-mail facsimiles during the inspection process. 

b. Practical Exercise. Each trainee will have a practical 
exercise in threading film and paper into the enlarger and will 
print a minimum of six prints. Later the enlarger will be operated 
simulating field conditions. 

45. Message Center Procedure 

a. General. The many processes in the production of photo- 


Figure IS. Loading film on reel for developing. 

mail require a central agency to associate them and coordinate 
their operation. This agency is message center. In order to instruct 
the trainee in how to operate a message center efficiently, a short 
background of photomail and its official place in Army organiza- 
tion is explained to acquaint the trainee with the importance of 
his work. The trainee should be impressed with the inviolability of 
soldiers' mail and official photomail. All trainees will be impressed 
with the necessity for handling official documents in the interest of 
security and the safeguarding of classified material. The trainee 
should be shown the connection between the Signal Corps and the 
Army Postal Service. An entire message center should be set up 
in the classroom and the following points emphasized : 

(1) Problems of a message center, both receiving and sending. 

(2) Brief inspections, initiating receiving work sheets, check- 
ing correctness of numbers of film rolls on corresponding targets 
and boxes, flow sheets, and signing of receipts. (See fig. 16.) 

(3) Reasons for entries on the receiving work sheet. 

(4) Need for speed and rapid delivery of the film to the chart- 
ing department. 

(5) Methods of releasing prints to the Army postal section by 
appropriate entries in the receiving log. 

(6) Need for retake system, and organization of retake forms 
in the reprint department. 


Figure H. Setting voltage on a continuous enlarger. 

(7) Importance of not initiating duplicate requests for retakes. 

(8) Message centers disposition of packets of reprints. 

h. Practical Exercises. Set up a dummy message center 
simulating operation under field conditions. Organize two V-mail 
stations ; one acting as a sending station, and the other acting as a 
receiving station. Hold group performance tests in all phases of 
paper winding, inspecting, making proper entries in all forms, and 
chopping technique. 

Figure 16. Message center clerk checking an incoming microfilm roll. 



46. General 

The team training phase in photomail normally extends over a 
period of 4 weeks. The object of training is to instruct the trainees 
in the operation of a complete photomail station and to illustrate 
the necessity for interdepartmental efficiency. The ultimate goal 
of team training is the coordination of the operation of each piece 
of photomail equipment with individual effort to achieve a 
smoothly operating unit. 

47. Segregating Trainees 

Trainees who have completed the specialist phase of training are 
screened in accordance with their ability, aptitude, instructor's 
rating, and preference as to type of work. The entire roster of 
specialist trainees will be divided into three groups. Each group 
will consist of a small number of trainees with a key trainee acting 
as an assistant to the instructor in charge. During the first 2 weeks 
of team training, the men are assigned to one of the following 
three groups and are rotated only within that group. 
a. Group I, Paper Processing. 



















Continuous enlarger. 

Continuous paper processing. 
Reprints and reduction. 
Chemical mix. 
Chief darkroom operator. 
Group II, Film Processing. 
Film processing (reel). 
Film processing (continuous processor). 
Film inspection. 

Microfilm equipment repairman. 
Chief darkroom operator. 
Group III, Clerical. 
Message center. 
Paper inspection. 
Paper chopping. 

48. Choosing Chief Processors 

Two chief darkroom operators, chosen by instructors on the basis 
of classroom work, leadership, and ability should be assigned to 
assist the instructors in charge of groups I and II. The chief dark- 
room operator will assist in the general supervision of photomail 


laboratory production and personnel, and enforce routing proce- 
dure and systems prescribed. He should learn to anticipate supply 
and personnel requirements and how to facilitate teamwork and 
undelayed production. iHe should be capable of keeping microfilm 
and printing up to and better than standard quality and determin- 
ing corrective measures for substandard work. The development 
of chief processors will be vigorously pursued during the team ^ 
and combined training phases. 

49. Rotation of Personnel 

In the paper processing group and the clerical groups, the train- 
ees will normally be rotated daily in the various jobs of each 
group. In the film processing group, two men will be assigned to 
the continuous film processing machine for the entire first 2 weeks ; 
the remaining men will be rotated daily. Each group will have an 
opportunity to operate each department of the photomail station. 

50. Final Team Training 

After the first 2 weeks of team training have been completed, the 
trainees will be placed in the job for which they are best suited, 
as shown by the team training cycle just completed. The number 
of men assigned to each group should remain the same for the final 
team training cycle and during this cycle there should be no rota- 
tion of jobs. The trainees assigned to the continuous film process- 
ing machine and the chief darkroom operators will continue in 
their jobs for the entire 4 weeks of team training if their work 
has been satisfactory. For the final 2 weeks of training, one in- 
structor will assume the position of chief processor and the re- 
maining two instructors will act as assistant chief processors. The 
duties of each man in a particular job are listed in paragraphs 51 
through 67 which follow. 

5 1 . Chief Processor 

The chief processor will be responsible for : 
ft. The operation of the entire station. 

b. The condition of the equipment and the laboratories as a 

52. Assistant Chief Processor 

a. The Assistant Chief Processor (Sending) : 

(1) Assists the chief processor in his duties. 

(2) Is directly responsible for all those operations directly 
concerned with the sending function. 

b. The Assistant Chief Processor (Receiving) : 
( 1 ) Assists the chief processor in his duties. 


(2) Is directly responsible for all those operations directly 
concerned with the receiving function. 

53. Chief Darkroom Operator 

a. The Chief Darkroom Operator (Sending) : 

(1) Assists the assistant chief processor (sending). 

(2) Is directly responsible for maintaining constant flow of 
wol-k in the sending operation. 

b. The Chief Darkroom Operator (Receiving) : 

(1) Assists the assistant chief processor (receiving). 

(2) Is responsible for maintaining a constant flow of work in 
the receiving operation. 

54. Continuous Enlarger Operator 

a. Class A. The duties of the class A operator will include. 

(1) Those of the class B operator, and the responsibility for 
all work on the continuous enlarger. 

(2) Supervising the work of the class B operator. 

(3) Keeping a constant check on equipment and notifying the 
chief processor in case of trouble. 

b. Class B. The duties of the class B operator will be to : 

( 1 ) Obtain film from the enlarger "in" box. 

(2) Load paper and film and run Hurter and Driffield (H & D) 
density strips. 

(3) Adjust the enlarger from data on the work sheet. 

(4) Check the enlarger while in operation, being constantly 
on the alert for trouble. 

(5) Identify each roll of paper at the beginning and the end. 

(6) Remove paper and film. 

(7) Fill out proper blanks and work sheets. 

(8) Send exposed paper to the paper processing room. 

(9) Place film in the continuous enlarger "out" box. 

55. Charter Operator 

a. Class. A. The duties of the class A operator include: 

(1) Those of the class B operator and the responsibility for all 
film charted in the station. 

(2) Supervising the work of the class B operator. 

(3) Checking the equipment constantly and notifying the 
chief processor in case of trouble. 

b. Class B. The duties of the class B operator include : 

(1) Obtaining film from the charting "in" box. 

(2) Checking film to make sure that it is wound on a light- 
weight reel correctly. 

(3) Charting film and entering lowest constant foot candle 
reading on work sheet. 


(4) Inspecting film briefly for general troubles such as dirt, 
fog, etc., and cleaning film with carbon tetrachloride. 

(5) Signing work sheet. 

(6) Placing charted film in charting "out" box. 

56. Continuous Paper Processing Operator 

a. Class A. The duties of the class A operator include : 

(1) Those of the class B, C, and D operators and the responsi- 
bility for all production on the paper processing machine. 

(2) Supervising the work of other operators. 

(3) Checking the .equipment constantly and notifying the 
chief processor in the event of trouble. 

6. Class B. The duties of the class B operator include : 

( 1 ) Those of the C and D operator. 

(2) Checking the orifice flow and temperature of solutions. 

(3) Checking to see that the solution supply tanks are kept 
filled to the proper level. 

(4) Checking chemical quality from H & D strips. 

(5) Keeping a chart of work being performed on the machine, 
and work taken off the machine. 

(6) Supervising the work of the C and D operators under the 
guidance of the class A operators. 

(7) Assisting in the start-up and shut-down of the machine 
and in the cleaning of it. 

c. Class C. The duties of the class C operator include: 

(1) Obtaining paper from the light lock or pass box. 

(2) Splicing on rolls at the supply end of the machine. 

(3) Checking paper identity as it is put on the machine. 

(4) Watching the supply end of the machine for trouble. 

(5) Assisting in the start-up and shut-down of the machine 
and in the cleaning of it. 

d. - Class D. The duties of the class D operator include: 

(1) Watching the take-off end of the machine for trouble, and 
removing finished rolls, making sure they are correctly identified 
at each end. 

(2) Taking off H & D strips and writing the necessary infor- 
mation on the back. 

(3) Assisting in start-up and shut-down of the machine and 
in the cleaning of it. 

57. Reprint and Reduction 

a. CLASS' A Operator. The duties of the class A operator in- 
clude : 

(1) Those of the class B, C, and D operators. 

(2) Obtaining film from reprint and reduction "in" box. 

(3) Supervising duties of other operators. 


(4) Keeping a constant check on quality of reprints and re- 

(5) Checking finished reprints against reprint sheet. 

(6) Signing work sheets. 

(7) Returning film and work sheet to reprint and reduction 
"out" box. 

(8) Making final decision as to reprint or retake, and initiat- 
ing "request for retake" sheet. 

h. Class B Operatoe. The duties of the class B operator in- 
clude : 

( 1 ) Loading the Model N enlarger with film and paper. 

(2) Locating negatives for reprints. 

(3) Operating the Model N enlarger, checking constantly with 
the class C operator as to quality. 

(4) Assisting in the clean-up of the reprint room. 

c. Class C Operator. The duties of the class C operator in- 
clude : 

(1) Developing and rinsing prints. 

(2) Immersing reductions in the fix. 

(3) Keeping check on number of prints processed in any 
batch of chemicals and changing chemicals at the proper time. 

(4) Assisting in the clean-up of the reprint room. 

d. Class D Operator. The duties of the class D operator in- 
clude : 

(1) Fixing, washing, and drying reprints. 

(2) Reducing, fixing, washing and drying dark prints. 

(3) Assisting in the clean-up of the reprint room. 

58. Chemical Mixer 

The duties of the chemical mix man are as follows : 

a. Mix all chemicals used in the laboratories. 

h. Keeps an adequate supply of all chemicals on hand at all 

c. Keeps a record of all chemicals mixed. 

d. Is responsible for the condition of the chemical mix room. 

59. Film Processor (Reel) 

The duties of the film processor (reel) are as follows: 

a. Obtains film to be processed from film processing "in" box. 
h. Processes the film on the reel film machine using standard 


c. Reads density of processed film and enters it on work sheet. 

d. Makes proper entries on the work sheet. 


e. Returns film properly packaged together with work sheet 
to the film processing "out" box. 

60. Film Processor (Continuous) 

a. Class A. The duties of the class A operator include : 

(1) Those of the class B operator and the responsibiUty for all 
continuous film processing production in the station. 

(2) Checking the machine, operating speed, solution tempera- 
ture, and drying condition. 

(3) Checking background density and H & D's on processed 

(4) Assisting in start-up and shut-down of machine. 

(5) Watching machine constantly for mechanical trouble and 
notifying the chief processor if any trouble occurs. 

b. Class B. The duties of the class B operator include : 

(1) Assisting in the start-up and shut-down of the machine. 

(2) Loading work on the spools and splicing work on the 

(3) Watching the machine for any irregularities and main- 
taining correct replenishment rate for the developer. 

(4) Changing stop bath and fixing bath at predetermined 

(5) Taking work off the machine and placing it properly 
boxed in the film processing "out" box. 

(6) Making proper entries on the work sheet. 

61 . Film Inspector 

a. Class A. The duties of the film inspector -class A include: 

(1) Those of the class B operator and the responsibility for all 
film inspected in the station. 

(2) Supervising the work of the class B operator. 

(3) Acting as relief for the class B operator. 

b. Class B. The duties of the film inspector class B include: 

(1) Obtaining film from film inspection "in" box. 

(2) Inspecting film and cleaning it if necessary. 

(3) Punching out all unprintable negatives and initiating a 
retake sheet. ' 

(4) Cleaning the machine each day. 

(5) Signing work sheet and placing film properly boxed to- 
gether with work sheet and retake sheet in film inspection "out" 

62. Microfilm Equipment Repairman 

The duties of the microfilm equipment repairman are as follows : 
a. Responsibility for correct operation of all photomail equip- 
ment and performance of corrective maintenance only. 


b. Preparation of preventive maintenance schedules and daily 
inspection of equipment. 

c. Responsibility to the chief processor and officer in charge 

63. Message Center Clerks 

a. CLASS "A. The duties of a class A message center clerk in- 
clude : 

(1) Those of the class B clerks. 

(2) Supervising the work of class B and C clerks. 

(3) Responsibility for all records concerning the receiving 
and sending operations. 

b. Class B (Sending). The duties of the class B sending op- 
erator include : 

(1) Keeping records of the sending operation. 

(2) Preparing documents for photographing. 

(3) Initiating the sending work sheet. 

(4) Pulling documents for retakes. 

(5) Seeing that original letters are properly filed to await 

c. Class B (Receiving). The duties of the class B receiving 
operator include : 

(1) Keeping the records of the receiving operation. 

(2) Initiating the receiving work sheet. 

(3) Forwarding any "request" for retakes" initiated by the 
reprint department. 

64. Recorder Operator 

a. Class A. -The duties of the class A recorder operator in- 
clude : 

(1) Those of the class B operator and the responsibility for 
all the work in the recording department. 

(2) Supervising the work of the class B operator. 

(3) Acting as relief for the class B operator. 

b. Class B. The duties of the class B recorder operator in- 
clude : 

(1) Performing first echelon maintenance at the start of each 

(2) Obtaining work from message center. 

(3) Printing an H & D test on the start of each roll of film. 

(4) Loading camera for photographing. 

(5) Photographing documents, using correct target order. 

(6) Unloading cainera after photographing and placing film 
and work sheet, properly boxed, in the recorder "out" box. 

65. Paper Inspector 

The duties of the class A paper inspector include ; 


a. Assembling paper numerically as it comes from the con- 
tinuous processing room. 

b. Inspecting paper, marking prints to be discarded, and ini- 
tiating a reprint sheet. 

c. Marking prints for reduction. 

d. Passing inspected paper on to choppers with film. 

66. Paper Chopper Operator 

The duties of the paper chopper operator are as follows : 
a. Chops all prints to a uniform size. 

6. Discards- prints that have been duplicated and marked as 
unsuitable by the paper inspector. 

c. Places prints for reduction in the proper box. 

d. Bundles all prints of a certain roll together and delivers 
them to the message center with corresponding roll of film. 

e. Makes proper entry on work sheet. 

67. Microfile Operator 

a. Class A. The duties of the class A microfile operator in- 
clude : 

(1) Those of the B, C, and D operators and the responsibility 
for all microfile production. 

(2) Supervising the work of the B, C, and D operators. 

(3) Keeping a constant watch of the equipment used and re- 
porting any irregularities of operation to the chief processor. 

h. Class B. The duties of the class B microfile operator in- 
clude : 

(1) Loading and unloading the camera. 

(2) Performing actual photographing. 

(3) Placing exposed film, properly boxed with its work sheet, 
in the microfile "out" box. 

c. Class C. The duties of the class C microfile operator in- 
clude : 

( 1 ) Preparing documents for photographing. 

(2) Assisting the class B operator in photogiaphing. 

d. Class D. The duty of the class D microfile operator con- 
sists of assisting the class B operator in photographing. 

68. Preparation for Final Teann Training 

In order to have a successful start in final team training, the 
laboratory should be completely set up and ready to operate. All 
equipment must be clean, in excellent working condition, and in 
its correct place for operation. The correct exposure setting for 
each recorder should be determined. The following equipment and 


allied material should be carefully checked prior to beginning team 
training : 

a. "In" and "out" boxes should be procured for each operation. 

b. There should be enough chemicals mixed to enable the sta- 
tion to operate at full capacity until the chemical mix man can 
replenish them. 

c. Message centers will be organized to receive rolls of letters 
and film from the Army postal section, and exchange film between 
the laboratories. 

d. Enough forms should be provided to accommodate 400 rolls 
of production. 

e. Sufficient letters to make up at least 50 rolls of letters (500 
per roll) , should be available. 

/. Code letters and an APO mailing address should be as- 
signed to each station. 

g. There will be 10 rolls of film, completely processed and in- 
spected in the message center. 

h. The above rolls will have been received in the receiving 
logbook and all records adjusted accordingly. 

i. The rolls of film will contain the first 10 targets of another 
station and will suffice to start the receiving function operating 
almost immediately. 

j. There will be 10 bundles of letters in the message center, 
each with a new target containing the code letters assigned. 

k. These letters will have been received in the sending log 
book and all records adjusted accordingly. 

I. There should be sufficient roll film, rubber bands, staples, 
ammonia, paper tape, string, prepared dry chemicals, etc., to in- 
sure proper operation. 

69. Allocation of Personnel 

Personnel duty assignments to definite rooms or sections within 
the laboratory build morale. A chart bearing the names of person- 
nel and illustrating relationship of their work to that of the lab- 
oratory as a whole assists in creating teamwork, tends to maintain 
maximum training efficiency during periods of personnel exchange 
and substitution, reduces friction, and establishes responsibility. 

70. Production Reports 

At the end of each week of team training a production report must 
be submitted to the officer in charge of the training unit. The chief 
processor at the end of each shift will obtain from the sending and 
receiving logs a complete report as to work done during the shift. 
These figures will be totaled and submitted in the following form : 





On hand 

2 May 44 




3 May 44 




4 May 44 




5 May 44 








Speed of handling (film) 
Rolls in 12 hrs 
Rolls 12 to 24 hrs 
Rolls over 24 hrs 

Status' of- Viprk on hand 
48 Film to belTtggected 3 

12 Letters to be recor3e3r~l 

— 4 




On hand 

2 May 44 

. 4 



3 May 44 




4 May 44 




5 May 44 








Speed of handling (prints) Status of work on hand 

Rolls in 12 hrs 42 Paper exposed for 

Rolls 12 to 24 hrs 6 processing 3 

Rolls over 24 hrs Film to be enlarged 3 

48 6 

Chief Processor 



71. General 

ft. CODEpfigfCNATlONS. Photomail stations are assigned two- 
lettef-ee^edesignations by the Adjutant General's Office. These 
code designations are used to identify the station in reports and 
dispatch schemes. Each film roll is given-a code group, which is 
comprised of the code letters of the,j3tation of origin, the number 
of the film roll, and the code letters of the station of destination. 
For example, in the code group : AB 47 FL, AB would be the code 
letters of the sending station, 47 the number of the film roll, and 
FL the code designation of the receiving station. 

b. Numbering Photomail Film Rolls. The numbering of the 
V-mail film rolls will be started quarterly with the number 1, each 
station of origin numbers film rolls consecutively for each station 
of destination until the first day of the succeeding quarter, when 
it again reverts to number 1. This number starts anew with the 
number 1 yearly in the case of official photomail. 

72. Sorting 

a. Original V-mail letters are received and distributed to the 
proper V-mail serving station. The sorted groups of original let- 
ters are opened and inspected. 

b. Letters are divided into three groups representing their re- 
production qualities. These groups are : 

( 1 ) Typewritten and written in ink. 

(2) Pencil. 

(3) Letters which contain inclosures, are damaged, or do not 
have complete addresses, or all questionable letters which indi- 
cate the final facsimile will not be legible. 

73. Bundling 

All letters in group 3 are resealed and forwarded as regular mail. 
The remaining lots of letters are tied into bundles containing 
1,800 V-mail letters which can be recorded on a 100-foot reel of 
16-mm film. 



74. Roll Numbers 

Each buncjle of original letters is assigned a roll number in ac- 
cordance with paragraph 71. This number also designates the 
corresponding roll of film containing the micronegatives for the 
bundle of letters. 

75. Sending Records 

a. An improvised flow sheet listing the rolls of letters and their 
roll numbers is accomplished. The rolls of letters, accompanied by 
the sending flow sheet, are forwarded to the associated Signal 
Corps V-mail laboratory for recording. 

b. Flow sheets- should be constructed so that a small section 


of the sheet can be separated by tearing^ t along a perforated line. 
(See fig. 17.) This small section contains a duplicate listing of 
assigned roll numbers and is receipted by the associated V-mail 
laboratory and returned to the APO V-mail section. The larger 
section of the sending flow sheet remains in the V-mail laboratory 
until all the letters have been .satisfactorily microfilmed. This large 
section is then returned to the V-mail section with the proper in- 
formation indicating dates of recording, shipping, and any ex- 
traordinary data together with the processed film and the original 


CDvFniNG PIRIOO 000) 10 ?'jO( 




Disp«iCHEO ro 












I 1 n (HS 









TO' M S 

MlCBO-FIUi- . 
ING «iO & 



1 CSS TH«N ?1 MHb 


0V| R i6 nOUHS 


?M 10 J6 nOu-i 



950 InlS Ibfim SucrRSfOES i 

NOT Ri usrb AFira 

O. FORMS NOS 961 AND It?, 22 

Figure 18, Daily V-mail station report. 

TL 70343 


letters. T!he original letters are stored and the boxed film for- 
warded to the designated receiving station. 

c. Dispatch and receipt records of microfilm are maintained 
at the Army postal section to enable the section to prepare send- 
ing and receiving portions of WD AGO Form 950, Daily V-mail 
Station Report. (See fig. 18.) 

76. Registration 

When microfilm is received at an APO V-mail section, the receipt 
of the film is registered and an improvised^ receiving flow sheet is 
initiated. (See fig. 19.) The receiving flow sheet should be similar 
in form and use to the sending flow sheet, but in this instance the 
flow is from film to enlarged print. The receiving flow sheet ac- 


companies the rolls of film from the receiving V-mail section to 
the associated Signal Corps V-mail laboratory. A part of the flow 
sheet is receipted and the other part is returned to the V-mail sec- 
tion together with the enlarged prints. 

77. Acknowledgment of Receipt 

Upon receipt by the V-mail section of all completed facsimiles, the 
receiving V-mail section notifies the sending station that the film 
roll has been satisfactorily reproduced and that authorization is 
granted to destroy the corresponding original letters. This is ac- 
complished by the use of WD AGO Form 949. (See fig. 20.) In- 
structions for use of the form are printed on the face thereof. 

78. Folding, Inserting, Delivery 

The final operation of the receiving V-mail section is the folding 
and inserting of the facsimile into window-type envelopes pre- 
paratory to delivery. The facsimiles are then forwarded and de- 
livered to the addressees. 

79. Retakes 

Occasionally a request may be made by a receiving V-mail section 
for the sending V-mail section to rephotograph letters. This re- 
quest is made on WD AGO Form 949 in conjunction with author- 
ization to destroy original letters. It is the responsibility of the 
V-mail section receiving this request to see that the letters in ques- 
tion are extracted and added to a roll of letters going to the re- 
questing section. 

80. Retake Target 

When retakes are added to a roll of original letters, they are 
placed at the end of the roll and preceded by the completed WD 
■AGO Form 949 on which the retakes were requested. When re- 
takes are withdrawn from a bundle, they lose all identity in con- 
nection with that bundle and are treated as original letters on a 
new roll. 

8 1 . Destruction of Letters 

The original letters are destroyed only after receipt of a properly 
executed Form 949 from the receiving V-mail station. The original 
letters are destroyed by pulping or burning and their destruction 
is witnessed by a commissioned or noncommissioned officer. 

82. Disposition of V-mail Microfilm 

V-mail microfilm which has been reproduced is destroyed by burn- 
ing in the presence of a commissioned or noncommissioned officer 



wuhSE" DiTE 

|[ 1^ PECUtb'ED rml RETAKES 61 "aDC P*^ !HE LETTEOS LISTED BE LO* •IE" '"Ibl ll'tEBb mVE BEE" » i ThDB**" &ND IF *LL 1 OB 
OEUKE «N0 DESTRUCTION OBOEBS H*VE BEEN RfliEi^'ED in SECUEhCE »N0 ^" T l i t ' Of I I r C0"PLI£0 «iTh, *U In Ofl I ;i> T 1 On IS GSANTfO 10 



Of SH."«'I 0" 


1 [)£Nl 1 FiCi I lljN 0*" 1 1 1 '£f( 
fVeeJee ro.i/i( ■ A-idressce l/>il fo^ordi r>f l,r-t line ric } 

HE tiO.'. 

DISPOil ^J0^ 

INSTRUCTIONS: Originating oftice will diipatcb tignad copies in 
duplicate and retain one copy. Order* will be tent confirming 
radio communicat iont trantmitted lequeiting retake* of full roll*, 
^ck Dowlediing o ( f i ce wi 1 | comp 1 e t e form*, f i 1 e du p 1 i ca te copy upon 
whicb record of deitruction will be entered, aod film original at 
end of V-Mail roll de*tined for itation of origin. When retakes 
are involved the original will be uied ai a target aud the rol 1 number 
on which retake ii filmed or other di*poiitioD made will tie in- 
dicated in the la^t column. All faciimile* received by nriginatot 
will be compared withretaiaed copieioforderiandfiled therewith. 

C4' E 

CE $ tOijCT iC'i AuTnOf ' 1 1 ON IS «CRnO"UDu£D AND 





D£S l(i«Al 1 OH 


Figure 20. WD AGO Form 9J,9. 

after it has served its purpose. It is of utmost importance that all 
scrap film or printed paper that contains personal letters be de- 
stroyed beyond all identity. Metal reels and containers of no 
further value are salvaged in accordance with local salvage pro- 


83. General 

Facilities are available for the transmission of official Government 
communications by official photomail between Washington and 


various oversea stations. This service is available to other 
branches of the Government as well as the War Department and 
will be accorded any communications eligible for mailing under 
the penalty privilege. 

a. Continental United States. Material originating within 
the continental United States will be forwarded by the originator 
to the War Department Foreign Mail Room, The Pentagon. All 
Official Photomail handled through the War Department Foreign 
Mail Room is microfilmed or processed by the Washington Official 
Photomail Laboratory, The Pentagon. 





Figure 21. WD AGO Farm 968. 


6. Oversea Theaters. The procedure for handling official 
photomail in oversea theaters is prescribed by the theater com- 
mander in accordance with policies of the Adjutant General's. 

c. Documents and Forms. Communications intended for 
transmission by Official Photomail should be written on WD AGO 
Forms 968 and 968-1 with inclosures clearly indicated. (See figs. 
21 and 22.) These inclosures should not exceed 8i/^ inches in width 
or 14 inches in length, however, communications or inclosures 


File Subject: 

Sheet No. - of _. 

Po not write kbove except M iodiceted 

T. !>.. A; q. O. rotin Mo. tea-1 

Figure 22. WD AGO Form 968-1. 


smaller than 8I/2 x 14 inches may be sent by Official Photomail. 
When it is necessary to use letterhead stationery or forms other 
.than WD AGO Forms 968 or 968-1, the heading OFFICIAL 
PHOTOMAIL should be prominently typed across the top of each 

d. Classified Material. Classified documents may be sent by 
Official Photomail. The material will be prepared and receipts for 
secret or confidential documents maintained in accordance with 
AR 380-5, Safeguarding Military Information, No receipt will be 
given for restricted or unclassified matter, 

84. Disposition of Official Photomail Film 

Official photomail film will be retained for a period of time speci- 
fied by the theater commander. Official photomail film must be dis- 
posed of in accordance with the policies set forth in AR 380-5, 
Safeguarding Military Information, 

85. Disposition of Official Photomail Documents 

Originals of official photomail documents will be retained until 
receipt of the corresponding film rolls is acknowledged by the 
receiving station. This receipt will be a signed letter form of re- 
ceipt. The original documents will then be returned to the sender. 


86. General 

The Signal Corps V-mail laboratory performs the technical op- 
erations of recording, microfilming, film developing, enlarging, 
print processing, and inspecting. (See fig. 23.) While the func- 
tions of the laboratory are basically operational, it is necessary to 
maintain several improvised work control forms within the lab- 
oratory in order to integrate each operation with the preceding 
and succeeding ones. These improvised work control forms advise 
each operator of the various photographic peculiarities and indi- 
cate compensation of light intensity and developing which must 
be accomplished, and maintain proper records of laboratory activi- 
ties. The design of the forms may differ slightly from one labora- 
tory to another, but the purpose of the various styles is similar. 

87. Message Center 

The message center of each V-mail laboratory is charged with the 
receipt and transmission of all work passing through the Signal 
Corps V-rnail laboratory and the maintenance of laboratory ac- 
tivity records. It is the responsibility of the message center clerk 








/ ARMY \ 
(, POSTAL ] 












Figure 2S. Laboratory message center flow chart. 

to maintain neat, orderly, and complete records. Message center 
and interdepartmental forms are discussed in paragraphs 88 
through 92, 

88. Logbooks 

A logbook comprises sending log sheets and receiving log sheets 
and is the permanent record of all laboratory activities. The send- 
ing sheets list the roll numbers, when the letters were received, the 
dates the resulting rolls of film were forwarded and the original 
letters returned, and any other miscellaneous information that 
may be necessary. (See fig. 24.) The receiving log sheets list the 
roll numbers, date and time received, the date and time the prints 
were forwarded, reprint data, and other miscellaneous informa- 
tion. (See fig. 25.) 

89. Worksheets 

At the start of each sequence of operation, whether sending or 
receiving, one work sheet is assigned to each roll of original 
letters or processed film. 

a. Sending Work Sheet. During the sequence of sending op- 
erations from the roll of original letters through to the satisfac- 


Sending Log 

Roll No. 



Relokes Stiipped 






On Roll 





Figure 24. Message center sending log sheet. 


Receiving Log 

Roll No. 



Reprints Shipped 

DTG • 








Figure 25. Message center receiving 
log sheet. 



torily processed film, technical information describing each step 
and the operators' names are entered on the sending work sheet. 
(Seefig. 26.) 


Roll No 


Retakes from Roll No. 

Photographed by 

Machine No. .-. 

Developed by 


Inspected by 

No. Retakes 

Film Faults 

Remarks Over ( ) 

Figure 26. Message center sending work sheet. 


b. Receiving Work Sheet. During the sequence of receiving 
■ operations from the roll of processed film through to the finished 
facsimile, the proper receiving data is entered on the receiving 
M^ork sheet. (See fig. 27.) 


Roll No 


Charted by 

Foot Candles 

Printed by 

No. of -Pieces 

Pieces Assembled ... 

Inspected by 

No. Bad 

Chopped by 

Remarks Over ( ) 

Figure 27. Message center receiving work sheet. 





90. Machine Identification 

The message center clerk en- 
ters the roll number on the 
machine identification target. 
(See fig. 28.) When a roll of 
original letters is sent from 
the message center to the re- 
corder operator, the machine 
identification target is placed 
at the beginning of the roll. 

Figure 28. Machine identification 

91. Retake Target 

Occasionally, after the letters 
have been recorded and re- 
turned to the message center, 
a retake is necessary. When 
this occurs, a retake target is 
placed at the beginning of the 
group of letters which have to 
be retaken. The retake target 
(fig. 29) is filled in with the 
roll number for which the re- 
takes are needed. 

Figure 29. Retake target. 

92. Official Photomail 

a. Receipts. When official mail is received by the laboratory, 
a proper exchange of classified document receipts must be made 
in accordance with the provisions of AR 380-5, Safeguarding 
Military Information. 


b. Laboratory Log. The laboratory must maintain a complete 
and permanent logbook covering all official photomail operations. 
These logs are discussed in paragraphs 95 and 96. 


93. V-Mall Sending 

a. Message Center Functions. On receipt of, V-mail letters 
from the Army postal section, the following functions (fig. 23) 
are performed by message center : 

(1) The roll number, time and date received, and name of 
person receiving the roll are entered on the sending log. The roll 
number and time and date are entered on the sending work sheet. 

(a) The roll number is made up of 'three parts: Identification 
code letter for the sending station, serial number of the roll, and 
identification code letters for the receiving station. Thus, the first 
roll sent to station XY by station AB would be marked AB-l-XY. 

(b) Time and date received are entered under DTG (date- 
time group) column. The first two digits indicate the date and the 
last four the time in the 24-hour system. 

(2) The sending work sheet is inserted in an empty film car- 
ton and both are forwarded with the roll of letters to the recorder 
for microfilming. 

(3) After recording, the roll of original letters is returned to 
message center. The message center will hold the original letters 
until the processed film with the accompanying sending work sheet 
is returned. 

(4) On receipt of the film and the sending work sheet, the 
message center enters time and date of dispatch, the name of the 
dispatcher, and the number of images contained in the roll on the 
sending work sheet. The time and date of dispatch and the number 
of images contained in the film roll are entered on the film carton. 
The carton of processed film is returned to the Army postal V-mail 

(5) At the first convenient opportunity, the information on 
the sending work sheet is transferred to the permanent sending 
logbook. The sending work sheet is then filed in the dead file. 

b. Retake Procedure. In some instances, the production of 
microfilm frames in the sending station will not be satisfactory, 
and will necessitate a retake. The retake request originates during 
film inspection and is normally indicated on ' the sending work 
sheet and on the retake sheet. (See fig. 30.) Both the retake sheet 
and the sending work sheet are forwarded with the processed film 
to message center. The message center continues to hold the roll 
of original letters but not the roll of film, until retakes are all sat- 


isfactorily processed and returned. The message center procedure 
in handling retake requests is as follows : 

( 1) ^ The message center files the sending work sheet in the live 
file and pulls out from the original roll of letters those letters listed 
in the request. 

(2) A retake target (fig. 29), to which the information from 
the request sheet has been transferred, is placed at the beginning 
of the original retake letters. 

(3) The retake target and the retake letters are added to the 
end of the next roll of V-mail letters being forwarded to the same 
receiving station. When this new roll is forwarded to the recorder, 
it consists of the start target, letters, retake target, and retake 
letters; and is accompanied by the retake sheet. 

(4) The new roll is recorded and returned to message center, 
where the retake letters are taken from this roll and placed in the 
roll of letters from which they were originally withdrawn. 

(5) The retake sheet is attached to the original sending work 
sheet to ofi'er proof that all letters in the roll have been micro- 
filmed satisfactorily. Both retake and sending work sheets are 
then filed by roll number in the dead file. 


Original Roll No. 

Shipped on Roll No 

Date „ : 

Sheet of. 

Addressee Veeder Key 


Figure SO. Retake sheet. 


94.- V-Mail Receiving 

a. Proceduke. The laboratory message center handles film re- 
ceived from the Army postal section in the following manner : 

(1) The film roll number, time and date received, the number 
of images on the roll, and the name of the person receiving the 
film are entered on the receiving log sheet. The film roll number 
and time and date received are entered on the receiving work 

(2) After the entries have been made, the film is delivered to 
the charting room with the receiving work sheet where it is in- 
spected. The inspector passes the roll with the work sheet on for 
printing and processing. 

(3) The film roll is enlarged, and the resulting enlarged letter 
facsimiles together with the film and work sheet, are delivered by 
the chopper operator to message center. 

(4) The processed letter facsimiles are dispatched to the 
Army postal section for delivery after the message center clerk 
enters the date and time dispatched and his signature on the re- 
ceiving log sheet. If no reprint or reduction request accompanies 
the roll of film, it is dispatched to the Army postal section along 
with the letter facsimiles. 

(5) The receiving work sheet is then filed by roll number in 
the dead file. 

b. Eeprint J^bquests. When a reprint request accompanies a 
roll of film, the procedure for handling will be as follows: 

(1) The receiving work sheet will be filed in the live file. 

(2) The roll of film and the reprint sheet (fig. 31) is delivered 
to the reprint department, which reprints and processes the nec- 
essary negatives and returns the roll of film, reprints, and the re- 
print sheet to message center. 

(3) The message center clerk dispatches the reprints to the 
Army postal section and enters the time and date of dispatch, the 
quantity of reprints, and the messenger's name on the receiving 
log. The reprint sheet and the receiving work sheet are attached 
and filed in the dead file. 



Roll No „ - 

Foot Candles - 

Sheet of 

p aui t 



. Key 


" 7 

Figure 31. Reprint sheet. 

c. Reduction Requests. When reductions are necessary, the 
procedure for handling will be as follows : 

(1) The receiving work sheet, roll of film, and satisfactory 
letters are returned to message center. 


(2) The letters are dispatched to the Army postal section and 
the appropriate entries are made in the receiving log sheet. The 
film is retained until the reduction sheet (fig. 32) is returned to 
the message center. 

(3) The record of reductions is entered on the reprint section 
of receiving log sheet and the method of recording reduction data 
is similar to that of recording reprint data. The reduction sheet 
and the receiving work sheet are attached together and filed in the 
dead file. 

Roll No 


Figure 32. Reduction sheet. 


d. Retake Requests. In rare instances, it may be necessary 
for a receiving laboratory to request a retake of a letter from a 
sending laboratory. 

(1) When the inspector discovers a facsimile which must be 
rephotographed, it is cut out of the roll of letter facsimiles and 
the roll number and veeder count are written on the reverse side. 
A retake request, WD AGO Form 949 (fig. 22) will be initiated 
and completed by the inspector and presented to the message cen- 
ter clerk who checks the entries on this form for completeness and 
forwards the form to the Army postal section. 

(2) If the addressee's name and address are obliterated on the 
print, the addressee's name from the preceding letter is shown on 
the retake sheet with the words "letter after". 

(3) A separate form is prepared for each station from which 
retakes are requested. If the facsimile has been cut from the roll, 
it is forwarded with the form. 

95. Official Pho+omail Sending 

a. Preparation. (1) General. Official documents are received 
by the laboratory message center clerk through the Army Courier 
Service from the Army postal section. After reading and acting 
on any special instructions forwarded with the documents, the 
message center clerk ])repares the documents for work by remov- 
ing all clips and staples, and numbers each sheet consecutively 
starting with the number 1 for each film roll. 

(2) Target number and form. The message center clerk as- 
signs a target number (film roll number described in par. 72). He 
initiates the target number form (fig. 33) by entering the target 
number, date filmed, number of sheets, and film destination. This 
target number form always contains the symbol "(0PM)" in 
large black letters, and a printed request for a written acknowl- 
edgment of the receipt of the film roll by the receiving station. 












AP-SC Form No. 36 
20 June 19Wj 

Figure 33, Target number form. 



(3) Work sheet. The work sheet (fig. ,34) is initiated by the 
message center clerk who enters the target number (film roll 
number), date and time the original documents were received, 
signature of receiving clerk, number of sheets, classifications, and 
any special instructions. 

(4) Sending log sheet. The permanent laboratory record of 
information regarding each target number is contained in the 
sending log. (See fig. 85.) The message center clerk enters the 
following data on the log: Target number (film roll number), 
date and time the original documents were received, classification 
of document, number of sheets, originating agencies, date filmed, 
recording operator's symbol, recording machine number, exposure 
factor, resulting film roll density, film processor's symbol, time 
and date film was dispatched, and the date the film receipt ac- 
knowledgment was received. 


























S ■ 


b. Disposition. (1) Target form wad work sheet. After dis- 
patch of the film, the message center clerk separates the target 
number form and work sheet from the original documents. The 
work sheet is stapled to the target number form and both are filed 
as a permanent laboratory record in support of the sending log. 

(2) Original documents. After the dispatch of the film roll, 
the original documents ^are normally filed by target number in ac- 
cordance with the provisions of AR 380-5. In cases where special 
instructions require the immediate return of the original docu- 
ments to the initiating agency, they are returned through the 
Army postal section. The laboratory, however, retains a full rec- 
ord of these documents. In liormal cases when the receipt of the 
film is acknowledged by the receiving station, the original docu- 
ments' on such a roll are returned to the initiating agency through 
the Army postal section. (This procedure is also discussed in par. 

c. Retakes. The official photomail retake procedure is similar 
to that used in V-mail operation. 

96. Official Photomail Receiving 

a. General. Official photomail receiving is similar to V-mail 
receiving except in the use of retake requests, log sheets, and 
work sheets. 

b. Retake Requests. Form No. 949 is not used in requesting 
official photomail retakes. Such requests are forwarded to the 
sending station by the most expeditious means. 

c. \Receiving Log. The receiving log (fig. 36) is a permanent 
laboratory record of official photomail receiving operations. The 
message center clerk will prepare this log sheet by entering the 
film number. Army Courier Service number, target date, date film 
was received, number of images, film density, date printed, print 
processor's symbol, date prints are dispatched, print destination 
(document addressee), dispatching clerk's symbol, date receipt of 
prints was acknowledged. 





g w 
Q E2 


Q S 



H Q 


C Eh 
(B <! 



d. Receiving Work Sheet. The receiving work sheet (fig. 37) 
is prepared by the message center clerk by entering the roll num- 
bers, number of images, film density, special instructions, classi- 
fication, date and time received, and the receiving clerk's signa- 



No. Images Density- 
Spec. Instr 

Rec'd Hour By 


Voltage Lens Stop.. 

No. Rolls Incl. Nos 



Time Operator 


; • .'. Requested by.. 


Date ^ Hour By 

Figure 37. Receiving work sheet. 


97. Dispatch of Short Film Strips 

It is unlikely that a sending V-mail station would have a sufficient 
quantity of official photomail at one time to fill a normal size film 
roll. Since official documents must be forwarded as quickly as pos- 
sible, th'ey are recorded on short film strips and dispatched in 
small pillbox containers which in turn are sealed in a cloth mail- 
ing bag. The box should be reinforced by inserting a wooden core 
or similar material, and the cover made secure by taping. The 
inclosed film strip density should be written in pencil on the inside 
of the box. The outside cover of the pillbox should be marked with 
the roll number and the classification. The cloth bag should be 
marked with the roll number only. The tag attached to the cloth 
bag should be marked with the sending station's return address 
and the mailing address of the station to which the bag is being 

98. Recording 

a. General. Efficient operation of a V-mail laboratory re- 
quires the determination of correct exposures at the start of op- 
erations. It is important that variations in exposure be corrected 
to produce satisfactory prints. 

b. Targets. For the purpose of determining correct exposures, 
density and count targets are recorded on each roll of film. The 
operator first records the machine identification target which was 
assigned immediately following the last letter of the normal roll. 
This target is followed by the retake letters, the finish target, and 
the end target. When WD AGO Form 949 is used the same pro- 
cedure is followed. Next the start target (fig. 38) is recorded, 
followed by a density target and 100 letters. A veeder count target, 
a few inches longer than a V-mail letter form, is placed on the 
back of the first of every 100 letters beginning with the 101st let- 
ter. This will enable the number on the bottom and overlapping 
part of the count target to be recorded. Three density targets 
(usually white sheets of paper) are recorded with each roll of 
film: one at the beginning of the film roll, one in the center,, and a 
third at the end, immediately before the last letter. A finish target 
(fig. 39) will be recorded to indicate the completion of a roll of 
original letters. An end target (fig. 40) will be recorded to indi- 
cate the end of the roll of film. If retakes are included in the roll, a 
retake target (fig. 29) is recorded in front of them. 







Figure 38. -Start target. 

Figure 39. Finish target. 

Figure iO. End target. 

c. Purpose of Targets. The purpose of using targets is as 
follows : 

(1) A microfilm frame of the density target establishes the 
proper printing exposure. . 

(2) The veeder count target (fig. 41) identifies any letters 
which might have to be located for retakes. 

Figure 4.1. Visible portion of veeder count target. 


(3) The retake target indicates to the message center or a 
receiving station the letters included and the number of the origi- 
nal roll for which the retakes are recorded. 

(4) A repeat of previous domment target (fig. 42) is used to 
indicate that a document has been faultily recorded preceding the 
target and that it is being recorded again following the target. 


Figure i2. Repeat of previous document target. 

d. Exposure. By using a recorder, a roll of original letters is 
exposed on a 100-foot roll of 16-mm film. The recorder is so con- 
structed that only one adjustment is required to obtain proper 
photographic reproduction. This adjustment consists of varying 
the light intensity when necessary. The operator passes the letters 
into the recorder singly in a rapid sequence until the roll of origi- 
nal letters has been recorded. 

e. Final Procedure. The recorder operations are entered on 
the sending work sheet. The roll of expos^ed, undeveloped film and 
the work sheet are inserted in a film carton. The roll number is 
marked on ithe outside of the box. The roll of original letters is 
returned to the message center, and the film carton with its con- 
tents is forwarded to the film processor. 

99. Film Developing 

a. Developing Devices. Normally, the developing of exposed 
microfilm is accomplished on a continuous developer, which is an 
automatic processing unit. For small quantities of film, a reel 
developer may be used. V-mail stations are equipped with both 
types of units. 

b. Procedure. The film processor receives the exposed film and 
the sending work sheet. He processes the film, enters operational 
data on the sending work sheet, and forwards both to the film 

100. Film Inspection 

a. Film Defects. Film inspection requires a knowledge of the 
causes of film defects and proper corrective measures. Film de- 


fects may be caused by improper handling, recording, or develop- 
ing. It may be advisable to make a chart of all known defects as 
they come to the inspector's attention. This chart can be referred 
to when necessary and prevents incorrect decisions and loss of 
valuable time. Rigid inspection is essential at a sending laboratory 
to avoid retake requests from a receiving laboratory. 

b. Reading Devices. Careful inspection requires two separate 
operations : the checking of each individual microfilm frame with 
a reading device, and the taking of densitometer readings of three 
recorded density targets. A densitometer measures transmitted 
light and is usually the first operation. If film is too dark or too 
light, a retake of the whole or part of the film may be requested by 
the inspector. The reading operation consists of yiewing an en- 
larged 11- by 14-inch image of each negative projected in sequence 
on a translucent screen. Defects can be seen easily at this magni- 

c. Marking Defects. When defects appear in a film image, 
the inspector punches a hole in the faulty negative and lists it on 
a retake request form. The retake request is forwarded to the 
message center with the roll of inspected film. 

101. Recording Official Pho+omail 

a. General. Normally, official mail received for recording will 
be photographed on a recorder. Odd-size or highly detailed docu- 
ments may be photographed on either 16- or 35-mm film in a micro- 
file camera. 

b. Odd-size Documents. In each case where odd-size docu- 
ments are received with normal size work, these odd-size sheets 
are withdrawn from the normal work. Where an odd-size docu- 

' ment is withdrawn from normal work, an insert sheet (a local 
form) should replace such withdrawn documents. The following 
statement should appear on an insert sheet: "Document (s) from 
this space will be found at the end of this roll." In any case where 
an odd-size document appears at the end of a roll, the end target 
will follow such odd-size documents and the target number form. 
In all cases the target number form will precede and follow all 
original documents. 

c. Other Procedures. Other official photomail processing pro- 
cedures are the same as in V-mail. 


102. Film Charting 

Film charting is the process of analyzing density or light stop- 
ping power of photomail negatives. The purpose of charting is to 


determine the correct voltage and aperture settings required by 
the enlarger operator. 

a. Densitometer Readings. When a densitometer is used, 
readings are taken approximately at 10-foot intervals. If density 
ranges vary to an extreme degree, readings may be taken at 5-foot 
intervals. Readings are marked on the receiving work sheet ac- 
companying the roll of film. 

b. Film Charting Meter Reading. A film charting meter 
scans the average amount of light transmitted through a roll of- 
film at any given portion. The length of film is passed over an 
opening where the blackness of the passing area is registered in 
foot candles. Foot-candle readings are taken at 10-foot intervals 
and are entered on the work sheet. 

c. Retake Request. The film inspector will indicate a retake 
request for any part of the film which is damaged or too light or 
dark to produce a legible facsimile when printed. 

d. Transmittal. The roll of film is forwarded to the printer 
operator with the receiving work sheet. 

103. Enlarging 

a. Identification of Prints. Before enlarging, the operator 
will mark the correct roll number at the start of each roll. Re- 
prints will be identified by marking the reprint number in the 
corner of each reprint. 

b. Equipment. A continuous enlarger is used for routine en- 
larging of 16-mm film: This enlarger incorporates a mechanism 
which synchronizes the speed of the film through the enlarger 
with the speed of the paper passing over the copy plate below it. 
If a roll of film should have too much density variation, the film 
should be exposed for the best average density. If there are ex- 
treme changes in density, the voltage or stop openings should be 
adjusted to produce the best results with each density. Reprints 
are exposed on a hand-operated Model N enlarger with a cutting 
arm which cuts a single reprint or a short series of reprints from 
a roll of paper after it has been exposed. 

c. Transmittal. The enlarging operator enters operational 
data on the work sheet and forwards the exposed, undeveloped 
paper roll and the work sheet to the processor. The roll of film is 
forwarded to the inspector. 

104. Paper Processing 

a. Equipment. Paper processing is accomplished on a con- 
tinuous developer, an automatic developing unit consisting of a 
series of separate tanks and a drier. The exposed paper is fed into 
the machine singly and comes out completely developed, dried, and 
ready for inspection and chopping. 


b. Priority. Paper rolls will be processed as nearly as prac- 
ticable in numerical sequence and length of time they have re- 
mained in the laboratory. 

1 05. Print Inspection 

Print inspection is the last important operation in the V-mail lab- 
oratory and must be complete and thorough. The purpose of the 
inspection is not only to check for legibility and completeness of 
'text but also to obtain corrective information in order to avoid 
repetition of faulty prints. Letters which cannot pass the legibility 
and completeness test must be reprinted, reduced, or retaken, de- 
pending upon the cause of the fault. The discussion of actual print 
inspection and function is discussed in paragraphs 106 through 

1 06. Preparation to Start Work 

a. Location. Paper inspection is done in a well-lighted room, 
located as conveniently as possible to the message center. 

b. Supplies. Before starting to work, the inspector should 
have the following supplies on hand : reprint and reduction sheets, 
work box to hold film, white chalk, and heavy black or grease 

1 07. Actual Operation 

a. General. The processed paper is received from the paper 
processing room, and the film used to expose the roll will be de- 
livered from the continuous enlarging department. No paper will 
be inspected until both paper and the corresponding roll of film 
are on hand. 

b. Inspection. To inspect prints, two rewind spindles are 
clamped about 4 feet apart on a table or bench. (See fig. 8.) The 
processed facsimiles are placed on the spindles with the printed 
side facing up. Before the actual inspection is begun, the inspector 
will compare the roll target number with the number of the work 
sheet to make sure they are identical. The work sheet is inspected 
to determine whether the entire roll of film was printed in two or 
more pieces or one complete roll of paper. If the roll was printed 
■in two or more pieces, the inspector will make certain that all 
pieces are on hand before beginning. The paper is wound from one 
spindle to the other at a speed which allows careful scanning of 
each print without reading each word. With practice, an operator 
can learn to scan a roll of letters in a short period of time. 

c. Print Defects! When defects impair the legibility of the 
print, it must be reprinted, reduced, or retaken. When a fault is 
obvious but does not affect the legibility, the inspector should pass 
the print and notify the operator at the source of the fault in order 


that corrective measures can be applied. 
108. Reprints. 

Letters requiring reprinting will be marked with a heavy black 
X on the face of the defective print so that they may be later 
identified and removed. When the roll has been inspected, the re- 
prints will be counted and marked on both the receiving work 
sheet and the reprint sheet. Some of the print defects which an 
operator may discover are as follows : 

a. Overlaps. Where one letter overlaps the preceding one, the 
recorder was fed too quickly, or the corners of the original letter 
were folded over accidentally during the recording process. 

h. Streaks. Streaks are caused by scratched film, chemical 
stains, or burned-out light bulbs in the recorder. 

c. Wavy Lines. Alternate light and dark lines across a print 
are caused by mechanical trouble in the recorder or enlarger, or 
severe voltage fluctuatioh. ^ 

d. Underexposure and. Overexposure. Improper voltage set- 
tings or aperture settings on the continuous enlarger cause under- 
exposure or overexposure. Improper illumination in the recorder 
is another cause. 

e. Letter Edges or Corners Cut Off. These defects are 
caused when original letters are fed into the recorder at an angle. 

/. Improper or Irregular Spacing. The result of mechanical 
trouble in the recorder, causing running of film between the feed- 
ing of letters. Film as well as paper is wasted. 

g. Splices. Letters falling across a splice must be reprinted. 

h. Stretch. The print image is distorted by stretching, caused 
by slipping film or absence of synchronization between the speed 
of paper and film on the continuous enlarger or recorder. 

i. Faulty Paper. When paper is accidentally exposed to light, 
the exposed portions will be, dark. 

j. Reversed Image. Improper threading, of film on continuous 
enlarger causes reversed images. 

' 109. Prints to be Reduced 

A letter facsimile requiring reduction will be marked with a white 
chalk mark on the upper left-hand corner. The letter facsimile is 
then turned face down so that the roll number and the last veeder 
count number are marked in pencil (one above the other) on the 
back of the letter. Each letter to be reduced will be tallied on a 
reduction sheet. The process of reduction will be discussed in 
paragraph 113. 

110. Completion of Inspection 

After inspecting the complete roll, the film and reprint sheet are 


sent to the reprint department. The work sheet and the roh of let- 
ters are sent to the chopper operator. When the reprints and re- 
ductions have been completed, the inspector will inspect each 
group of prints before sending them to the message center. 

III. Chopping 

a. General. When a roll of V-mail prints has been completely 
processed and inspected, it must be chopped into individual letter 
facsimiles. This is the duty of the paper chopper. The handling 
of defective letters and uniformity in size are of great importance. 
Uniformity of size is especially important. The letters are inserted 
into envelopes by automatic machines operated by the Army postal 
section. Letters which are either too large or too small are liable 
to be damaged in the machines and a reprint must be made. The 
letter will be returned to the V-mail laboratory marked only with 
the roll number, and a tedious search is required to find the letter. 

h. Preparation for Chopping. Prior to chopping, the printed 
roll of facsimiles must be wound so that the end target is at the 
beginning of the roll. The letters will then fall in sequence as they 
are chopped. The roll is placed in the chopper with the facsimiles 
face up. Two boxes should be placed on top of the table to hold 
reductions and reprints. 

c. Chopping Inspection. The chopping operator will scan all 
letter facsimiles to make certain that no defective prints are 
missed. All letter facsimiles marked for reduction or reprinting 
will be placed in their respective boxes. After inspection, the re- 
ductions and reprints are counted and checked against the work 
sheets. The completed roll of chopped prints is securely tied, the 
roll target on top, and sent to the message center with the work 

d. Reprints prom Previous Rolls. The chopper may find re- 
prints at the end of the roll. Reprints are chopped in the regular 
manner ahd set aside while the roll is being chopped. The reprint 
target is placed on top of the reprint pile and the bundle is tied 
and forwarded to the message center. 

I 12. Identifying Film for Reprints 

It is necessary for the inspector to know whether a defective print 
was caused by the film image in order to decide whether a retake 
request or a reprint request be initiated. The inspector must 
analyze those portions of the film which correspond to the defec- 
tive prints. 

a. Locating Faulty Prints. The images of faulty prints are 
located on a device known as an inspection projector. (See fig. 7.) 
When an image has been located, it is marked by placing two thin 
strips of tape across the film, above and below the image. Care 
must be exercised when taping to prevent obscuring any part of 


the image to be reprinted. Place the tape on the film hose, not the 
emulsion. Another method of marking is to tie a piece of thread, 
through a perforation, to the edge of the film approximately at 
the middle of the image. A~ number of consecutive images to be 
reprinted may be identified by marking the leading edge of the 
first image and the trailing edge of the last image in the sequence. 

h. Retakes. If the film image caused the defective print, the 
original letter must be retaken. In this instance, the inspector 
initiates a retake request, staples the faulty print to the request 
and forwards both to the message center which, in turn, forwards 
the request and print to the Army postal section. 

c. Reprints. When the film image does not contain the fault 
evident on the corresponding print, that part of the film which 
must be reprinted is marked off for the printer. The marked roll 
of the film, the reprint sheet stapled to the faulty print, and the 
completed receiving work sheet are forwarded to message center. 

113. Reduction System 

Reduction is a process of treating overexposed prints to increase 
legibility by passing them through a series of chemical baths. The 
reduction system is recommended when it is advantageous to avoid 
a large number of reprints caused by overexposure. The over- 
exposed facsimiles are lightened to a level at which writing is 
clearly legible. In no instance should prints be reduced to a degree 
which destroys the legibility of the facsimile. 

a. Enlarging for Reduction. When the enlarging operator 
receives a roll of film with facsimiles which must be reduced, . he 
studies the chart which accompanies the roll of film and sets the 
voltage and aperture of the enlarger to correctly expose the black- 
est part of the film. If the chart indicates a wide range of densities 
between the lightest and darkest parts of the film roll, it may be 
necessary to adjust exposure during printing. 

6. Straight Reduction. (1) Straight reduction may be ac- 
complished by placing large trays containing hypo at each chop- 
ping table. As the chopper encounters a print that is overexposed, 
the roll number and count target number are marked on the back 
of the print and then the print is immersed in one of the hypo 
trays. The chopper can readily pick out those prints marked for 

(2) A separate tray is used for each group of prints following 
a count target. In all subsequent steps each group of prints is 
kept separately. 

(3) At hourly intervals or other suitably designated intervals, 
the chemical mix-man transfers dark prints from hypo trays to 
a pail one-third full of hypo. The mix-man will then carry the pail 
to the room used for reducing. The prints are handled in this man- 
ner since they must be hypo-soaked when immersed in the reducer. 


(4) Prints are placed face up into the reducing agent. The 
length of time they are immersed depends upon the amount of 
reduction required and the strength of the reducing agent. When 
prints have reached a satisfactory contrast, they are taken out 
and immersed in the final hypo. Since prints tend to continue re- 
ducing in final hypo, they must be removed from the reducer 

Caution: Reducer reacts with iron to form a troublesome in- 
tense blue precipitate which may stain the prints. Enameled or 
porcelain tanks and pails must be free from chips and cracks. 

(5) Prints in the final hype pail should be agitated when im- 
mersed. After the initial agitation, prints remain in the hypo pail 
until ready for washing. 

(6) Reduced and fixed prints are thoroughly washed, dried, 
sorted, and forwarded to the message center. 

c. Bleaching. ( 1 ) The bleaching process requires three trays. 
Trays are placed in a row on a bench. The first tray contains 
bleach, the second hypo, and the third contains water for rinsing. 

(2) Prints are immersed in the bleaching solution which con- 
verts some of the silver in the image to silver bromide. The length 
of time required for the bleaching process depends upon the in- 
tensity of the print and the strength of the bleaching solution. 
The bleaching process may vary from 14 to 2 minutes at a similar 
degree of temperature. When prints appear to have almost reached 
the required contrast, they are removed and immersed in the hypo 
without rinsing. Bleaching solution should be changed when it 
turns blue, otherwise prints will reduce to brown instead of black. 

(3) Fixing requires 2 minutes immersion in hypo at a tem- 
perature of 70°F. Fresh, hypo should be added every 4 hours under 
normal conditions, or whenever prints show a tendency to become 
brown in color. 

(4) After fixing, prints are placed in the tray containing the 
rinse to await thorough washing, drying, sorting, and forwarding 
to the message center. 

114. Official Photomall 

a. Equipment. Official photomail is usually specified for en-- 
largement to original document size. The equipment used for en- 
larging official photomail depends upon the size and length of film 
and the enlarging specifications. 

b. Enlarging. In enlarging 35-mm film a Model A enlarger is 
used. A continuous enlarger is used to print 16-mm film whenever 
possible. However, a short strip of 16-mm film not containing 
enough images to justify continuous processing is enlarged on a 
Model 10 reader. (See fig. 11.) 



Paragraph Page 

Acknowledgment of receipt 77 40 

Actual operation, inspection 107 68 

Allocation of personnel, operations 22 9 

Allocation of personnel, training 69 34 

Army coordinating agencies 13 4 

Army postal service, operational responsibility 7 2 

Assignment 10 3 

Assistant chief processor, duties: 

Receiving 526 27 

Sending 52a 27 

Augmentation teams . 14e 6 

Basic photography 35 13 

Basic technical training '. 34 12 

Bleaching, reduction 113c 72 

Buildings, laboratory 20 8 

Bundling 73 36 

Care of equipment 30 11 

Censorship 9 3 

Charter operator, duties: 

■ Class A 55a 28 

Class B 556 28 

Chemical mixer, duties 58 30 

Chemical mixing, operation 20c 8 

Chief darkroom operator, duties : 

Receiving . 536 28 

Sending 53a 28 

Chief processor, duties 51 27 

Choosing chief processors 48 26 

Chopping Ill 70 

Chopping inspection 111c 70 

Chopping, preparation 1116 70 

Code designations, Army postal section 71a 36 

Completion of inspection 110 70 

Conservation of photographic material 31 12 

Continuous enlarger operator, duties: 

< Class A 54a 28 

Class B 546 28 

Continuous enlarger, training 43 21 

Continuous film processing 36 13 

Continuous paper processing operator, duties: 

Class A 56a 29 

Class B 566 29 

Class C 56c 29 

Class D 56d 29 

Darkrooms 20a 8 

Definitions : 

Official photomail 2c 1 

Photomail 2a 1 

V-mail 26 1 

Delivery assurance, V-mail 46 2 

Densitometer readings 102a 67 

Destruction of letters 81 40 

Detachment headquarters, V-mail 14a 5 

Dispatch of short film strips 97 63 

Electricity 19 V 


Training 40 19 

Equipment 1036 67 

Identification of prints 103a 67 

Transmittal 103c 67 

Enlarging for reduction 113a 71 

Exposure, recording 98d! 65 


Paragraph Page 

Faulty paper 108i 69 


Charting 102 66 

Developing 99 65 

Disposition 82 40 

Inspection 38,100 16,65 

Film defects 100a 65 

Marking defects 100c 66 

Reading devices 1006 66 

Inspector, duties: 

Class A 61a 31 

Class B 616 31 

Loading, training 366(2) 14 

Processing 42 21 

Processor (continuous), duties: 

Class A 60a 31 

Class B 606 31 

Processor (reel), duties 59 30 

Splicing, training 366(1) 13 

Film charting meter reading 1026 67 

Final team training 50 27 

Folding, inserting, delivery, V-mail facsimiles 78 40 

Identifying film for reprints 112 '70 

Improper or irregular spacing, defect 108/ 69 

Individual technical training 28 11 

Inspection, prints 1076 68 

Introduction, training 23 10 

Laboratory signs and waste 21 9 

Laboratory technician, V-mail or microfilm 33a 12 

Letter edges or corners cut off, defect 108e 69 

Locating faulty prints 112a 70 

Logbooks, sending and receiving log sheets 88 45 

Machine identification target 90 50 

Message center 20d, 87 9, 44 

Clerks, duties: 

Class A 63a. 32 

Class B (receiving) « . . . 63c 32 

Class B (sending) 636 32 

-Functions 93a. 51 

Procedure, training 45 22 

Mess teams 146 6 

Microfile operator, duties: 

Class A 67a 33 

Class B 676 33 

Class C 67c 33 

Class D 67d 33 

Microfile operation, training '. . . . 39 19 


Equipment repairman 336 12 

Equipment repairman, duties 62 31 

Model C-1 recorder operation, training 37 15 

Model N enlarger, training 44 22 

Objective, training ." 24 10 

Odd-size documents, official 1016 66 

Official attitude, V-mail 4a 1 

Official photomail: 

Classified material 83<Z 42 

Continental United States 83a 42 

Disposition of documents 85 44 

Disposition of film 84 44 

Enlarging 1146 73 

Equipment 114a 72 

Forms 83c 43 


Paragraph Page 

Laboratory log 926 51 

Oversea theaters 836 43 

Receipts - 92a 50 

Receiving 96 60 

Sending 95 56 

Size of documents 83c 43 

Operational responsibility, APS 7 2 

Overlaps, defect 108« 69 

Paper : 

Chopper operator, duties 66 33 

Inspector, duties 65 32 

Paper processing: 

Equipment 41a, 104ffl 20, 67 

Priority 1046 68 

Photographic (signal) teams lid 6 

Photomail : 

Definition 2a 1 

Comparative weight 3a 1 

Enlarging 40 19 

Installations 15 7 

Location requirements 16 7 

Organization 12 4 

Numbering film rolls 716 36 

Size of facsimiles ?6 1 

Technicians 33 12 

Postal teams 14c 6 

Preparation for final team training - 68 33 

Preparation to start work 106 68 

Print defects 107c, 108 68,69 

Print inspection 105 68 

Prints to be reduced 109 69 

Production reports, form 70 34 

Project work forms 32 12 

Purpose and- scope 1 1 

Purpose of targets, recording 98c 64 

Receiving work sheet '. 896 49 

Recorder operator, duties: 

Class A ■ 64o 32 

Class B 646 " 32 

Recording, official photomail 101 66 

Recording, sending de'partment 98 63 

Reduction requests, V-mail .' . . . 94c 54 

Reduction system 113 71 

References 11 3 

Registration, APO V-mail, receiving 76 39 

Reprint and reduction, duties: 

Class A operator 57a 29 

Class B operator 576 30 

Class C operator 57c 30 

Class D operator 57d 30 

Reprint requests, V-mail 946 53 

Reprints 108 69 

Identifying 112c 71 

Retake : 

Procedure, V-mail 936 51 

Requests, V-mail 94d 56 

Target 80,91 40,50 

Retakes : , 

Handling requests 79 40 

Identifying 1126 71 

Official photomail 95c 60 

Reversed image, defect 108j 69 

Roll numbers 74 37 

Rotation of personnel 49 27 


Paragraph Page 

Segregating trainees, team training: 

Group I, paper processing 47o 26 

Group II, film processing 476 26 

Group III, clerical 47c 26 

Sending flow sheets, description 75 37 

Sending work sheet 89a 45 

Signal Corps V-mail laboratories 86 44 

Sorting original letters 72 36 

Specialist training, general 27 11 

Splices, defect 108^ 69 

Standard methods 29 11 

Start target 986 63 

Straight reduction 1136 71 

Streaks, defect 1086 69 

Stretch, defect 108/1 69 

Targets, recording 986 63 

Team training, general 46 26 

Technical responsibility, photomail '. 8 2 

Training aids and facilities 26 10 

Training references and guides 25 10 

Transportation 17 7 

Underexposure and overexposure 108d 69 

Use of V-mail 4 1 

Ventilation 206 8 

V-mail : „ 

Detachments 14 4 

Forms 6 2 

Priority 5 2 

Receiving, message center procedure 94 53 

Sending, message center procedure 93 ^ 51 

Waste 216 9 

Wavy lines, defect 108c 69 

Water 18 7 

Work sheets 89 45